Category Archives: Japanese Cinema

J-Movie: Tada, Kimi Wo Aishiteru [Still, Loving You]

This is one of those movies where emotions are kept completely raw and they just get you in the heart! One of the reasons I love J series (movies and dramas) is their make of such wonderful drama. Their stories are so touching and down to earth innocent, anyone’ll love them! I had this movie in my collection for months before I finally got around to seeing it just after my exams! And it was just the perfect dose of happy and sad I wanted! I run away from tragedies; I can’t bear the heartbreak especially when it starts making me cry too 😛 But this was just the right one to bring me tears and lots of smiles!

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Call Centre no koibito Episode I

The reason I picked this drama is simple! It had an entertaining plot line and after watching a bitter sweet and tragic love story, nothing’s better medicine than funny and witty! Does this drama uphold that for me, Let’s see!

The Episode starts off with our hero Tokura Wataru in a talk show where he has appeared as a guest to discuss his best seller book, the queen of complaints. However, before the hostess can ask anything, he starts shouting into the camera “Aoyama Kyoko! Please contact me! Wherever you are, please contact me!” until he has to be forcibly removed from the set.

Going back in time, he narrates how his life was before he met her (Kyoko). He was doing great at his job in a television shopping program and was at the head of his game, selling products like hot pancakes! His bosses were happy with him and he was happy with life. However, a mistake by the MC (Nankyoku Aisu) on the program lands him in trouble. While selling pruning shears, the MC declares that the shears can “cut anything” leading to great sales, but even more complaints from people who declare the shears cannot cut metal! 😀
The story, he narrates, is of the professionals who handle the hidden part of television shopping-the complaints centre. Sitting in a bar that night, he is having drinks with a colleague while complaining lightly about the host MC’s words. Unbeknownst to him, she is sitting nearby and hears him.

The next morning at work, he receives a transfer order. However irrational and unjust the decision is, there is nothing that can be done about it. His boss tells him to be patient for six months or a year, after which the boss’ll transfer him back. With a heavy heart, he packs his stuff and is leaving the company when he runs into Aisu. She tells him to give a message to Kyoko “You should just keep handling customer complaints, don’t overstep your boundaries” when he reaches the “end of the earth Chiba”. Not really getting what she means, he heads off to Chiba.

First he takes the train and arrives at the outskirts of a town where he misses the bus going to town by just a few minutes. He has to board another bus later which drops him off at a stop in the middle of nowhere. On the drive, he reads through the customer complaint manual. Taking in his surroundings, he asks the driver if he’s at the right stop to which the driver tells him that he’s still got a long way to go. As he’s wondering whether he should call a taxi, the bus driver tells him there are no taxi’s in this part of the town.

Better yet, the mobile is out of signals range. What follows is the longest and most arduous walk he’s ever had to experience. Thirsty and tired, he wonders where the convenience stores are. Halfway through the walk, his suitcases wheel breaks down and he ends up having to carry his luggage with him as well. In the end, he finally manages to get to his destination. Once inside, he simply collapses from thirst at the reception.

One of the workers comes out to greet him and seeing his weary state runs off to get him some tea. Wataru spots a vending machine close by and rushes to get himself a drink but is short of coins. He’s lying there chanting water water when a woman walks by and seeing his poor state, pours water on him. He straightens up immediately, grabs the bottle and cup from her hand and starts drinking. By the time he’s drunk to his content and turns to thank her, she’s already long gone.

Anyways, the boss comes out to greet him and take him for introductions to the whole staff. As soon as they enter the centre for accepting orders, all women ooh and aah over the “Tokyo Dude”. His eyes fall on a duo while descending the stairs and the two women wink and him, causing him to almost stumble. God, I love his expressions! Humor like this is one of the reason I love Japanese dramas!


His boss warns him that the women around here have no way to release their pent up stress from listening to customer complaints all day long and that once your caught, it’s impossible to be free! 😀

Taking him to the customer service centre, the boss introduces him to the staff there who are unfortunately too busy dealing with calls at the moment to give him more than a nod or a passing glance even though it is just four people.

Here is their intro:

And last but not least

Wataru remembers the words Aisu had spoken to him as he watches Kyoko take a customer’s call.

That night, Wataru wants to head home after his welcome party where the boss gets too drunk and starts vomiting on the road while exclaiming how much he hates the country side. His boss informs him his residence is not totally ready since his transfer was on such short notice. Wataru asks where he should spend the night then. He is told to freely use the night room in the call centre for the time being.

Once back there, he finally goes over the events of the day and concludes he hates the countryside as well and wonders why he has to suffer like this. Spotting a phone, he decides to call his girlfriend, Shizuka. Before he can make the call, the phone rings. While he’s trying to scramble through the manual trying to find answers to the customers complaints who has called in the middle of the night, Aoyama appears behind him and takes the phone, answering the customers questions with utmost care despite having just woken up.

Kyoko tells him the reason she wasn’t at the welcome party was because she was answering customer calls at the centre (Now that’s a dedicated employee!). Wataru can’t believe she stays overnight at the centre and asks her to forget what he was saying before the phone rang. She tells him its already forgotten, switching modes is already her specialty. However, he can’t seem to take a hint when she turns back to sleep and starts chit chatting asking question after question. While listening to him, she starts focusing on his face and then a sudden slap from her quiets him down. She explains there are a lot of mosquitoes around before going back to sleep. The incident is witnessed by a worker of the call centre. Wataru is left speechless and more confused than ever.

It’s a bright morning the next day. Wataru gets ready and heads to work where he runs into a group of women from the call centre who are gossiping about him. When he greets them, he is promptly ignored. When they witness Kyoko coming in, they run over to her side, expressing their concern for her. What was a normal incident was translated as:

Wataru begs Kyoko to clear the air about the misunderstanding but she tells him shes already forgotten all about it. His own attempts end futile. Kawabe and Uno Ben walk in behind him and tell them Kyoko has no interest in people who stand in front of her yet her heart always goes out to the people on the calls.

Next, they all sit down to watch the latest show on television shopping. They’re all bored with the program already and don’t like Aisu as the hostess much. Only Kyoko says nothing as she silently watches the show. Soon its lunch time and everyone goes off to lunch, leaving one line open and asking Wataru to stay behind and take the calls.

Just as he decides to call his girlfriend and picks up the phone, he turns to see Kyoko standing there. Assuring her he will be fine, he tells her to go ahead and enjoy lunch. He finally ends up getting the call through and starts his whining. 😀 Somewhere else however, someone is listening to his conversation on speaker phone. (I’m afraid it’s all the women from the call centre and considering what he’s saying, he’ll have a very bad time ahead!)

Ah no, it turns out its just his colleagues who were worried about leaving him behind so came back to cheer him on. The workers tell him he’s the useless one around here as he is using the phone for personal calls and is even sexually harassing people. Wataru apologizes for the personal call but tells them the sexual harassment was just a misunderstanding. The phone buzzes with a complaint for Kyoko but the others stop her from taking it and ask Wataru to take it. Man, he is in for a big letdown! 😀 Everyone tells him to please not mess it up. He takes the call.

 

The call is a disaster. The person on the other end is an old man who is unhappy that the pruning shears are not cutting ‘something’ but Wataru fails to listen well and ends up making the customer even more angry. Kyoko tries to take back the phone and talk to the customer but the damage is done and he hangs up on her. Kyoko and the others try to correct Wataru’s conception “We are just supposed to listen to peoples formal complaints not talk about their lives” but he doesn’t listen and tells them it’s stupid to be concerned with their lives and there’s nothing written about it in the manual either.

 

 

The others don’t take his complaints and earlier harsh comments about them to heart. Feeling embarrassed about what has happened, he storms out. Kyoko still seems hung over the person who called, worried about why he was so agitated and the strange end to the call. Kawabe walks up to him as hes sitting outside sulking by himself and tells him how everyone is desperately clinging to their job here. Its given them hope and all the people who live here have a way to earn something for themselves. Wataru wonders about Kyoko and her reason and Kawabe tells him she is not a native of the area and “drifted in from somewhere” and had always been interested in listening to people’s complaints and responding to them rather than taking their orders. Wataru comments that she really is different.

 

Just then Ben comes running up to them and tells them to quickly come back as there is an emergency with the customer who had just called. When they get back, the customer is on the line, wanting to talk to Wataru, still angry and agitated. On the news behind him, there is a headline running about a man having taken hostages somewhere. The customer asks Tokura which blade is used to cut branches. Tokura guides him but there is impatience in his manner and voice. When he asks Tokura something else, Wataru tells him to read the manual which is when the complaitant becomes angry and tells him he doesn’t have time to read all the details and someone shouts save me from behind him. Everyone turns to see the scene on television. The person there has someone hostage and it is the very customer who is on the phone with Wataru.

 

Now this is trouble! Kyoko tells everyone she’ll look for callers history and everyone else disperses to work with her. Wataru is frantic and tells them they should alert the police but everyone ignores him. It has caused trouble at the main headquarters as well where the whole company is scrambling to try and remove their name from the bad press.

 

The others trace his records and find out he has done a lot of shopping from them over the past few years but had recently stopped. As it happened, he had originally started purchasing couple set things but changed recently and bought the pruning shears. Kyoko and the others start thinking of the reasons he might be facing to make such a choice in the recent past. Wataru is confused and wonders what everyone is up to. Minutes later, the newsperson announces details about the suspect who has taken hostages and it turns out exactly the same as what everyone had predicted.

 

Kyoko has an idea and realizes why the suspect bought the shears and what he wishes to use them for. Back at headquarters, things are frantic and they call Wataru telling him to open up the lines and respond to peoples complaints. Aisu tells them to stop playing detective and get back to work. While Wataru talks politely, the rest tell Aisu to shut up! 😀 Here the others tell Aisu they want to send back Wataru as he is of no use to them but Aisu refuses and reveals she is the one who had him transferred. When Wataru asks why, she refers to him as a bug and tells him to stay there and deal with complaints until he retires.

 

 

The customer calls again and demands to talk to Wataru but Kyoko talks to him and asks him if what he really wanted to cut was a big metal sign in front of the window in his room so he could get sunlight inside. The customer asks how she knew and admits she is right. In flashbacks, he tells us how happy he and his wife were to be living together even though it was a small house and they had little light but then the bank put a signboard infront of their window, blocking all sunlight.

 

 

The bank further gave him a hard time with his loans resulting in his business going bankrupt and he was unable to find another job. That was when his wife left him. He purchased the shears so he could cut down the sign since they said it could cut anything but it didn’t work. Losing all hope, he simply went out onto the streets and walked around listlessly. That was when he happened to reach the bank officers house by mistake and saw beautiful peaches on the trees there. He was hungry and asked for a few peaches but the owner refused, misunderstanding his intent after seeing the shears in his hand.

 

He wonders where his life went so wrong. Wataru takes the phone from Kyoko and starts talking to the customer, telling him they both share the same fate as even Wataru can no longer see his future. However, Wataru was a little too emotional in comparing each other and the customer points out his fault. Angry, the customer moves towards the hostages he has taken but Kyoko stops him as she tells him someone else bought the same shears for the same reason as him. And it was his wife. She had called the previous day with the same complaint that she was unable to cut a large metal signboard.

 

If that sign went away, we might be able to start over as a couple, were her words. The customer is startled and surprised. Kyoko tells him he is not alone. He realizes the meaning behind her words and breaks down in tears. Here, Wataru is overcome with emotion and starts crying too.

 

 

A somber and serious Kyoko suddenly shouts into the phone:

 

The customer looks to the couple he has taken hostage and prepares his shears. Heading out, he goes into the garden and cuts a peach from the trees. Everyone in the complaint centre office cheers as they watch it unfold on tv. Even Wataru is amazed. At headquarters, everyone is happy the dilemma is over but Aisu tells them to use the whole event to their benefit and feature the item in the show once again.

 

Everyone goes to the beach to celebrate their silent victory. Wataru confides that he will not be running back to Tokyo. The customer taught him that no matter the kind of job he had, as long as he had it, he was fortunate. The others are pleased with his attitude and invite him to join them for drinks. As they are happily chatting away, he spots Kyoko sitting away by herself. He asks her how she knew the customers feelings so well and she tells him it was obvious the same way it was obvious he was thirsty which is why he drank all the water from her bottle the day he arrived.

 

He turns to the others and grins at them that Kyoko really is a little different when she walks up to him and slaps him again (I am so loving the slaps! Haha, his expressions are so hilarious!). She tells him there was another big mosquito but she let it get away this time. No one else seems surprised. With that, she heads back to work. Poor Wataru is left screaming after her.

Hope you enjoyed episode I as much as I did! I’m not sure if Ill be continuing the recaps ahead though. Ive yet to see another episode of it but it is a nice reprieve from the last japanese drama I watched which was a bittersweet tragedy and made me cry buckets! Right now on my list are this drama and another and from what I’ve seen of the first episodes of both, my mind is swayed towards the other option! Let me watch more of this and then decide! However, if there’s someone out there who does want more recaps, lemme know and I might just go for it! 😉

 

Anime Review – Shonen Onmyouji

Anime Review

Shonen Onmyouji

 

Story:

Abe no Masahiro is the grandson of the great omnyouji Abe no Semei, who passed his teachings on to his grandson. Masahiro lost his sixth sense and the ability to see spirits. In truth, his grandfather sealed his sixth sense in order to protect him. He doesn’t know about it until he meets Mokkun. While fighting his first monster he breaks the seal and his quest to become the next greatest onmyouji begins.

 

Running time: 24 minutes per episode

 

Number of episodes: 26

 

Plot Summary:

Abe no Masahiro is the youngest grandson of the great onmyouji, Abe no Semei. Unlike his famous and powerful grandfather, however, Masahiro not only can’t perform any divinations, he can’t even see the spirit world! Since his childhood hopes of being a match for his grandfather in onmyouji are crushed, he tries his hand in other trades. Later on in the series, however, we learn that Abe no Seimei had sealed Masahiro’s powers and his potential truly is rival to and perhaps greater than Seimei’s.

Unfortunately, Masahiro also fails at doing well in any of the other trades acceptable for his rank. While he sits dejectedly and without much hope, he has his first meeting with Mokkun, a mononoke, who practically falls in his lap. Masahiro is shocked he can even see Mokkun, as Mokkun is also part of the spirits he shouldn’t be able to see, let alone hear it talk. The furry mononoke resembles a cross between cat/ bunny/ monkey and knows who Masahiro is. Although his name is something else, Masahiro dubs him Mokkun, a name that stays till the end.

The duo become buddies when Mokkun, despite Masahiros warnings follows him everywhere he goes. The journey of these companions, their friendship and their fights against spirits is what chronicles the series ahead.

 

Review:

Based on a manga, this is an anime that would definitely be a part of your collection, especially if you are a fan of historic anime. What this series has is not just a simple chronicle about the olden times or the onmyouji battling spirits. It rather focuses on the onmyouji ways and friendships. A friend in need is truly a friend indeed! The saying is brought to justice throughout the series. Another thing that adds interest is that even though the story is fictional, but Abe no Seimei was actually a great Onmyouji in Japan. Though it is quite an old anime [I believe it was subbed and dubbed in 2008] I watched it this year and didn’t feel the difference. It’s an anime you should definitely follow if you liked other series like Rurouni Kenshin and Black Cat!  On a scale of five, I’d rate it a 4/5! Watch it! And if you’ve got more time and a curious nature, check out the manga as well! :]

 

 

Attention Please Episode III Recap

The third episode of Attention Please takes us further into the world of a cabin attendant. It starts off with our Yayoi wondering when they will be able to finally wear the uniform of a cabin attendant. Sekiyama reveals theres only a week left till they are finally given the chance. However theres also a catch. There would be exams before they are allowed the chance and the exams are known for being tough. Misaki doesn’t make a big deal out of it but the wicked trio is quick to point out that in their eyes, shes not fit to wear the uniform either. But as always, Misaki brushes off their comments. Mikami walks in on their excitement and tells them they had better be prepared for the Emergency training in the coming week, which is going to be hard, and then the exams as well, which will be harder. In Sekiyama’s words, Emergency Training is “a week of hell”.

The whole class is given one piece uniforms and after changing, assemble in fifteen minutes for the start. Misaki is all excited and deems this as her chance to show her potential. And so begins their training. Another reprimand of Misaki by Mikami earns the instructor this look:

Everyone moves into the plane areas for training. The main topic for the training in the whole week is how to respond in emergencies and how to safeguard passengers. As they demonstrate and go through the whole procedure, Mikami tells them to forget all the manners and polite speech they have learned so far. In these moments, they have to be firm and authoritative. Misaki laments having to forget all the polite words and manners she learned specifically for the job. But when told to demonstrate, she manages to go a little too beyond polite manners. Next, they practice landing on water. Misaki is having more fun than ever on the training and feels like it is all a piece of cake, smiling and enjoying herself, leading to Mikami yelling at her to take things more seriously. But not everyone is having the same happy luck as Mikami.

At the end of the day, everyone is exhausted and tired, complaining about all the labor and work they had to do along with how much they were scolded. Misaki, still in her bright outlook, tells them they ought to try harder since they want to wear the uniform. Here, Asou and her partner walk in on the girls and tell them (apart from Misaki) that they are free to ask for any help as it is a tough period they are going through. Asou and partner try to rile Misaki up but their efforts just backfire on themselves.

Meanwhile the next day, training continues like always and except Misaki, it takes most students lots of time to catch up. Sekiyama especially has a fear of sliding down from the plane. Misaki is as jolly as ever and Mikami is as worried for her as ever. But Misakis bright outlook gets her in trouble with her friends. While Sekiyama feels down for not being able to perform well, Misaki tells her to buckle up and do better or she wont be able to be a cabin attendant but Yayoi cuts her down harshly.

Meanwhile Shouta is preparing for the exam to become a certified engineer and his superior wishes him luck in his endeavor. He also warns him that unless he loves his job, it would become very lonely for him even if he did well. They are sitting chatting in yayoi’s fathers restaurant when yayoi and Sekiyama walk in. They left Misaki behind because she had additional classes. Yayoi chats with Shouta and before leaving, he tells her good luck for the exams and like a high school girl, she becomes all giddy and happy that he wished her luck. She is definitely into Shouta. When he smiles and thanks her before leaving, she all but practically melts down. That night as Sekiyama is walking home while practicing from her book, she sees the leader of the evil trio out with a strange looking guy (Sorry, I just haven’t been able to catch her name yet :P)

The next day brings the same optimistic Misaki. Yayoi tells Sekiyama to ignore her as they need to concentrate on their own performances. When  Misaki does compliment Yayoi on her work, Yayoi ignores her and walks away. After Mikami arrives and is telling the students what to do, the girl Sekiyama saw the last night comes running in and apologizes to Mikami for being late. (Finally saw her name, It’s Hirota). Even if Mikami does not buy her excuse, she lets it slide. Today, the focus is on how to treat a passenger who is ill in any manner. Hirota however, ends up making blunders today which is unusual for her. When everyone is puzzled by the change in Hirota, Sekiyama lets the others in on what she saw the night before. Another problem arises when Misaki and Hirota both slip into the pool while trying to unpack the lifeboat for passengers and start fighting. The incident leads to Misaki receiving another reprimand from Mikami.

Mikami scolds Misaki for being too lenient and non realistic with her performance and not taking things seriously. Misaki argues that its just training but Mikami tells her its better for her to leave if that is the attitude she is going to bring into her training. While Misaki is angry at Mikami for voicing things the way she did, she still does not take the scolding very seriously and decides shes already doing her best. When she runs into Tsutsumi and Captain on the elevator, she thinks aloud that Mikami must have a grudge against her. Captain advises her to think things through Mikamis perspective and then decide. That night, she and shouta run into each other again at the supermarket. They head out to dinner again and Misaki relays all her frustrations to him and tells him, if the engineers do their work properly, there shouldn’t be any need for emergency situations. Shouta calls her out on her stupid logic. She apologizes for her words, but its too late and Shouta leaves once again before his dinner arrives.

Training continues to the last day. Mikami announces the exams would be the next day and that everyone should do their best. While misaki is all happy and looking forward to celebrating, everyone else is dead tired. Alone on her way home that night Misaki runs into Tsutsumi who is stalking someone. Turns out, he is stalking Hirota who is again with a ‘scary looking’ guy. Tsutsumi imagines all kinds of bad scenarios and decides to save Hirota, dragging Misaki along.

 

They head upstairs into the building following Hirota and the guy to find her upstairs with four strong, athletic guys checking her muscles and arms and all. This scares Tsutsumi even more. He pushes Misaki ahead to handle the rescue. She goes in all stern and serious, cross armed. Before anyone can say anything or respond in action, she drags Hirota away with her. The guys only follow them to the emergency staircase. Running down, all three get into an elevator. While Misaki and Tsutsumi are scared, Hirota is surprised and asks them what they are doing. Misaki and Hirota almost get into a fight but Tsutsumi tries to stop them. Unfortunately, he is pushed away by Misaki and ends up on the floor. Suddenly, the elevator stops.

 

 

Mikami is sitting in her office contemplating a few things when the Principal walks in. Although Mikami wants to pass all the students, she reasons that it might not be possible. But the principal, optimistic as he is, tells her things are not as difficult as they may seem.

 

Trapped in the elevator, Misaki, Tsutsumi and Hirota call out for help but no one seems to be around to hear them. Misaki and Hirota get back to fighting and this time, Tsutsumi makes a rather weak attempt to stop them. He has a bigger worry at hand. Mother nature has come calling. And the security guard, it turns out, is asleep. Hirota worries they might miss the exam tomorrow if this continues, after all, its past two in the morning but Misaki says it’s still not tomorrow so they needn’t worry about that so soon. Hirota tells her to be more serious or they wouldn’t be able to wear the uniform but Misaki tells her shes the one who is pretending, always saying stuff in class yet being out late on the day before the exam. Hirota tells her she disliked her from the very first day of orientation, where she herself had arrived at the orientation before the others whereas Misaki had walked  in at the very last moment and took a seat in the very first row. Misaki reasons it wasn’t her fault. After all, that was the only seat left so there was nothing she could do. They are about to have another go at each other but Tsutsumi cries out that he can’t take it anymore. Both turn to look at him. He says he really needs… to go to the toilet.

 

 

Meanwhile, morning has come. Everyone is gathered for the exam. No one is surprised that Misaki isn’t there and do not seem to mind either but everyone worries about where Hirota is. In the elevator, Hirota is worried about missing the exam and finally tells the other two what she was doing the previous night. She had joined a gym in this building and the guys were the instructors in the gym. So much for saving the damsel in distress! At the exam centre, attendance is called out and the missing are noted. Mikami says the missing will not be allowed to take in the exam. The reason Hirota started gym was to improve her body as there were many tasks she found daunting in the training where she was unable to lift heavy objects easily. Whats more, Hirota wants to become a cabin attendant and then find a nice guy to marry through her job. Misaki tells her it’s a pretty dream. But turns out, that’s not all there is to hirota. The main reason she is pursuing this job is because she wants to be more self confident. Her family has little money and she is always accepting her elder sister’s hand me downs. Now, she wants to strive and make an identity for herself the way she wants. Misaki is touched by Hirota’s story. It’s the first time shes been honest with her and it reminds Misaki of her own self, where she wears the clothes left by her brothers. Realizing the time, she starts beating on the elevator door, shouting for someone to come open. Hirota points out its already late but she keeps at it. Hirota sees her determination and joins in. Finally someone hears them and comes to their rescue. When the door opens, Misaki grabs Hirota. Tsutsumi is frozen in place.

 

 

The test is now almost finished and only the last group has to perform. Misaki and Hirota reach but Mikami won’t let them take the exam. Realizing there’s no use to asking again, Misaki asks Mikami to at least let Hirota appear, a request which surprises everyone. Mikami does not respond but just then the principal enters, apologizing for being late. Realizing this is a chance to allow Misaki and Hirota to appear in the test, she tells them to go change and hurry back. The test passes smoothly and well. Even the other instructor is impressed. Even Sekiyama gets her good moment and is able to slide down smoothly.

 

There is a meeting to discuss whether all students passed or not. Misaki takes this opportunity to look for Shouta and say sorry for her behavior and words last time, which she now realize were cruel. He watches her going back with a smile. The next day, Mikami reveals they have all passed. Everyone is jubilant. Hirota actually passes Misaki a genuine and happy smile. They are not yet friends, but Hirota has accepted Misaki and now trusts her. Mikami hands out everyones uniform. While everyone changes and arrives back, Misaki is late yet again.

 

 

Hope you enjoyed the ride through episode three! ^_^

Attention Please Recap – Episode II

 

The second episode starts with an introduction into expressions! In true class fashion, Mikami is telling them how to behave with guests and what the proper decorum for them as a cabin attendant is. As usual, someone is asleep in class!

 

Mikami tells everyone to stand up and then orders them to smile. The result is 20 most awkward smiles ever! Misaki especially does not see the reason why everyone has to smile since “theres nothing funny around anyway.”

 

After a grueling further class, where they practice words and pronunciations, where Misaki is further reprimanded by Mikami, Misaki thinks Mikami is out to get her thanks to her outburst at the end of the last episode and wonders why she even did what she did. It’s a perfect way for her to manage her frustrations and let them out so they don’t bother her. However, Mikami walks in on her and she gets another reprimanding lecture and this time, they almost have a fighting match with each other!

 

Misaki and friends decide to drop by the coffee room where they run into the famous trio from their class. In a polite but condescending tone, the trio manages to practice their pronunciation and words from Mikamis class while also delivering insults to Misaki. She, however, is least bothered as always. While her friends are actually worried about the difficulties in class and whether they will be able to perform well, Misaki brushes it all off. She just isn’t born to take stuff seriously. One of the instructors notices her throwing out trash in the can as if she were playing basketball, the instructor rushes in to reprimand her, but it has little effect and only aggravates the instructor herself. The instructor goes straight to the Chairman with her complaint. The chairman is as optimistic as ever.

 


Tsutsumi and Captain are in the cockpit of the new plane the engineers are working on and the captain points out a few pointers to the head engineer. Tsutsumi, in true flattery fashion, praises the Captain but the captain tells him to stay quiet for a while. Shouta is checking the whole aircraft and its electrical functionalities and reports back that there are no errors. Here again, we see shouta in the cockpit, looking expectantly at the sky and looking wishful.

 

Misaki is tired after class but that doesn’t stop her from flocking Asou san when she is just returning from a flight. Praising Asou san and her companions looks and works, Misaki asks for an autograph. Yayoi is surprised at her friends sudden and non characteristic behavior. Turns out, the autograph is for Yayois Dad. She did it all so she could get an extra meal! Today, Sekiyama also stays with them for dinner.  Here they introduce the fact that Sekiyama’s father is a pilot. Before the night is over, Yayoi and Misaki teach Sekiyama how to eat Soba. Being from a prim n proper background, Sekiyama finds it odd at first, but then soon follows their suit.

Next day, Sekiyama brings a beautiful black suit dress for Misaki. The trio witness it and ridicule Misakis clothing habit once again leading to an almost fight between Yayoi and the head of the trio. Misaki stops them and accepts the gift from Sekiyama and remarks how annoying women are when Mikami heads in and points out to her that she is a woman too. In class too again today, Misaki fails miserably at performing any tasks. She hardly remembers any details well either.

 

Tsutsumi finds the wicked trio during lunch where they are studying and gives them a few pointers and they all go gaga over him. Shouta and his boss witness the scene from afar. Wanting to further impress his new friends, Tsutsumi heads over to Shoutas boss and makes a few irrelevant pointers about the inspection they recently did, which Shoutas boss calmly hears but aggravates Shouta. Leaving there after lunch, Shouta passes by Tsustumis table and points out his ridiculousness.

 

That night, Misaki runs into Shouta at the department store. They both head over to the same restaurant (Misaki follows him) and end up chitchatting. Midway however, Misaki touches upon a sore subject and Shouta leaves his dinner and walks out.

 

 

Next come the exams for the cabin attendants. The exam passes smoothly enough even though Misaki does not know many things and just breezes past in her usual manner. After the exam, she runs into Tsutsumi in the cafeteria and ends up drinking his coffee. They both sit down to chit chat on both serious and casual topics. Misakis scores on the exams are ridiculously low so the instructor tries to get the chairman to remove her but the chairman points out she still has the chance to retake the exams.

 

Misaki runs into Asou heading towards the dry cleaners with her uniform but before they can chit chat much, Asou’s superior summons her back. Misaki volunteers to drop her uniform off at the dry cleaners and after much hesitation, Asou allows it. While on the way to the dry cleaners, Misaki catches herself with the uniform in a mirror and decides to try it on. Before she can change back, she is thrown out of the bathroom because it is cleaning time. At first she is awkward and nervous outside, but wherever she walks, everyone bows down and greets her. She heads out to the main airport terminal and is overjoyed at not being caught. Asou however, heads to the cleaning room to reclaim her uniform and is told it was never submitted for cleaning. Knowing shell be in trouble if the news gets out that her uniform was lost, Asou finds Tsutsumi and asks if he knows where Misaki is. However, word gets out around and soon the whole institute finds out what Misaki has done. Having fun out in the terminal, Misaki misses class too.

 

Asou reports to her superior who tells her to find the uniform and has to put up with bullying and ridicule from her coworkers. Misaki is rushing back to catch class but is caught by customers on the terminal who want her help for their tasks. With no way to refuse, Misaki helps them out. Here Misaki realizes all the real life situations and sees different cabin attendants and airport attendants responding to them. Yayoi and Sekiyama, worried for their friend, rush out to find her but not even Shouta has seen her.

At the terminal, Misaki encounters a Chinese girl who cannot speak Japanese and is having trouble finding the right terminal to board her plane. Though they have trouble communicating with each other at first, they turn to writing and understanding each other’s words and that allows Misaki to guide the woman to her needed destination. Misaki feels happy and content now that she finally understands the meaning behind Mikamis words in class. It’s here that Yayoi and Sekiyama find her.

She is reprimanded by Mikami and the Chairman but Asou prevents her from being severely punished though she tells Misaki she will never forget this. Misaki feels truly sorry for her actions and repeatedly sounds her apology. After reprimanding her, Mikami asks her how she felt when wearing the uniform.

That day when Mikami is heading home, she and captain run into each other in the lobby and they have a chat while waiting for the elevator. It is also here that Captain mentions some other old girl and asks Mikami if she “remembers her.”  Mikami gives a non committal response. Misaki meanwhile is on the roof where Shouta finds her. She recounts her day and tells him how happy she was that she was able to help that woman. Shouta also voices his thoughts to her openly for the first time.

The next morning, she wakes up with her alarm. She passes instructor and Chairman in the corridor and they both look shocked and pleased to see her. Today, she has come wearing Sekiyamas gifted suit. However, beneath the elegant coat, there’s this:

 

Mikami tells her at this pace the day she wears a uniform will probably never come. But Misaki is determined that it would. Everyone is impressed by her speech and tone, even Mikami. But like before, Mikami calls out to her and tells her she’s due for extra lessons thanks to the classes she missed.

 

And that is how the second episode ends! 🙂 Hope you enjoyed! ^_^

Song of the Week – Why did I fall in love with you?

The song of the week is a song from the korean boy band (now split up 😦 ) DBSK [Dong Bang Shin Ki] and is titled “Why Did I Fall in Love With You?”

A sweet romantic melody, it tells the story of two people who were in love with each other yet unable to get their feelings across to the other at the right time. The girl finally moves on and gets her happily ever and though the guy is sad at first but then wishes her the best in her life…

Go ahead and enjoy the song. The lyrics are below:

Why did I end up falling for you?
No matter how much time has passed,
I thought that you would always be here
But you have chosen a different road

Why wasnt I able to convey to you?
My feelings that were growing everyday and night
The words begin to overflow
But I know they wont reach you now

From the first day that I met you
I felt like I knew you
And the two of us melded together so naturally

Wherever we would go, it would be together
It was so natural for you to be with me
We became adults together
But you chose a different road

Why did I end up falling for you?
No matter how much time has passed,
I thought that you would always be here (but not anymore)

Today, the day that holds a special meaning
The day that you stood with a smile of happiness
Praying to God in your beautiful appearance

With the person next to you who isnt me
The image of you receiving blessings
How could I just stand aside and watch

So why did I end up falling for you?
We cant go back to that time, or how we were (Ive thought it through)

Why wasnt I able to take your hand?
No matter how much time passes
You always shouldve been by my side
Now it will never come true

But, even though I say that I need you close to me
I just pray that you will be happy forever
No matter how lonely that makes me (or how sad)

Attention Please: Episode 1 Recap

Attention Please!

Attention Please is the first series I will be recapping! Even though I follow K-entertainment more than J-Entertainment, I just started watching this series yesterday and managed three episodes in one go (I ended up sleeping after four in the morning and then had to wake up at nine to head to my office! Its a miracle Im not sleeping in the office right now, hehe). The drama has a very refreshing and japanese-esque vibe and it reminded me why I love watching japanese dramas even if not in abundance and why I enjoy myself every time! Japanese Entertainment Industry has a very innovative and unique trend, which could have resulted in drastically boring stuff if not handled well. But it is usually handled perfectly and is most refreshing and enjoyable to watch. The best part is the humor and the reality that go side by side. In some instances, the japanese may exaggerate the reality to give the happy ever after, but their tone and the way of delivering it manage to keep it enjoyable rather than cheeky or frustrating.

In the future I hope to continue recapping lots of more stories and dramas (K-Dramas, J-Dramas, C-Dramas and T-Dramas) so keep coming back for more! As the Japanese say, Yoroshikunae Onegai shimasu!! 🙂

Episode 1 Recap

The Episode starts with our main heroine on stage along with her four buddies singing j-pop! Her attire and getup is enough to surmise her character. She dresses in jeans and shirts; her short hair is another boyish trait more than girlish. As we are later told, growing up with four elder brothers and without parents, she tended to have a more straight forward and tomboyish personality and ends up enjoyng life more with friends of the opposite sex rather than females. However, that doesnt stop her from actually feeling insecure like a girl every now and then, especially when it concerns a fellow band mate and boy-Tsukasa- who happens to be leaving for Tokyo the next day. The concert they are having turns out to be his farewell party.

As they leave the concert and reminisce about times spent before, Misaki wishes they could stay like they are rather than growing up and having to face the real world-looking for jobs and careers. Her fellows call her stupid and they begin bickering friendly and most of them run off closer to the bank of the river. With the rest gone, Misaki turns to Tsukasa and promises to come see him off at the airport tomorrow even though he teases her not to come as she’d simply end up crying. Promising she won’t cry, Misaki gathers her courage to confess and almost has the words out of her when the others interrupt and ask the two to join in on their fun. Thinking shed be better to leave it off until tomorrow, Misaki doesn’t continue and runs off to join the others and hit them as hard as she can! 😀

 

The next day at the airport turns out to be a revelation. Everyone from her team except herself turn around and gawk at the cabin attendants walking throughout the airport. When they cannot find the Clock Tower (They don’t even try!), it gives them the much wanted excuse to ask a few passing cabin attendants its location. Friendly and polite, the attendants help them out and the rest cant help themselves from falling head over heels in appreciation! Walking up the escalator, they dreamily exclaim, “I love that smile with a hint of pride; and compared to them”. Turning to Misaki at their front, their expressions hilariously change.

Misaki tells them theyre deluding themselves and that cabin attendants aren’t that great! After all, she could be one if she wanted! That gives the boys a hearty laugh as soon as they meet up with Tsukasa. He asks what their ruckus is about and the others start their devoted rant again. Tsukasa offhandedly remarks there is nothing to be so worked up about and Misaki, glad that Tsukasa agrees, scoffs back at the boys again. However, as another line of attendants passes them by, everyone stops to look at them and Tsukasa again offhandedly remarks that he probably would consider dating or even date one. Misakis ears perk up at that. So Tsukasa actually does like cabin attendants! Before she has a chance to say more, Tsukasa turns to leave and catch his flight. At the gate, he turns around and calls out to her.

Throwing her his signature ring, he tells her it will bring her good luck in finding a job and that it will help her as it helped him and jokingly adds “It doesn’t go with the suit either”, referring to his current and future attire. Misakis heart falls deeper in admiration for him.

Cut moments later to Misaki lying on the ground at home reminiscing about her life; from childhood to this day and how she ended up with her personality and attire. Here, we are given a deeper look into her past and childhood where she recalls everything as there are several magazines scattered around her, listing job opportunities and career choices. Finally, she picks up a magazine from the bottom, with a beautiful cabin attendant on the front page. Remembering Tsukasa’s words, she makes up her mind.


When she finally arrives for the interview, she realizes in horror that her tomboyish attire is highly unsuitable for the interview, with everyone dressed in a formal skirt shirt coat attire. Next thing you know, she sees a girl walking out the interview room- her interview just ended- and grabs her. Running to the bathroom while the other girl hardly has time to catch her breath, she exchanges clothes with the girl and runs back in for her interview- just in time. Once inside, she realizes she forgot to swap her shoes; now she’s wearing a black formal suit, and large red casual boots. She quickly covers her feet with her bag, hoping the interviewers won’t notice. They seem to have seen it, but choose to stay silent and ignore it.

One of the interviewer asks her questions about herself and then about her interest in music. Misaki immediately starts dancing and singing around, performing like she’s in her band with her friends. The judges look shocked and then pleased. But this is just a bubble in her head as she simply politely nods her head and mutters a meek “Yes” to their questions. 😀 Hilarious!!

Days later, at home in her sweats and shirt, she heads out to get her mail. Inside is a letter from the airlines. She has been accepted as a trainee for the cabin attendant’s course. Feeling on cloud nine, Misaki jumps up and down and shouts out “I’ve become a cabin attendant!!!” ^_^

She moves to Tokyo and rents a room with a woman named Chiemi and asks Misaki to call her Chii-Chan. Its down to rooming with Chiichan because the room she originally wanted has been given to someone else because of a misunderstanding. Her roommate is chubby and a bit strange.

Here comes Misakis first meeting with Shouta whom she bumps into at the subway where her ticket is stolen by someone else but she thinks it’s him but can’t prove it and hence cannot catch the train.

attention please

This is the day for orientation into the training so she has to hurry to the building. Excited and ecstatic, she runs her way to the inauguration hall, proud at having reached five minutes earlier than deadline! Opening the door to the hall with all her might, she shouts out a greeting, only to realize the hall is full and everyone is already formally seated in place. Everyone turns to look around at the weird new entrant. One of the girls is happy to see her! Before anyone can say anything, Misaki shuts the door and rushes inside, looking for a place to sit. There’s only one chair free and it’s in the front row. She rushes there and sits down while others look disapprovingly at her and her boyish attire (Everyone else is still formally dressed).

While she sleeps her way through inauguration, unable to take in the boring speeches and introduction about rules and regulations, she’s glad when the ceremony ends and heads out as fast as she can. Outside however, one of the other trainees catches up to her. It’s the one who had looked happy at seeing her in the hall when she’d arrived. She grabs Misaki happily, asking if Misaki remembers her. Misaki doesn’t and seems disinterested. She’s still half asleep from the inauguration so the girl happily chatters on that she is the one who exchanged clothes with her on the interview day.

And this is how our heroine’s friendship with one of the other main characters and her soon to be best friend, Wakamura Yayoi begins.

After the inauguration, they go to their class, where Misaki is ridiculed as ‘mistaken for a rock star girl’ and while others make fun of her attire and attitude, it doesn’t seem to bother her and she thinks her clothes are cool! Girl’s got a great optimistic personality!

Here when they are taking their seats at the end, they run into Sekiyama Chan, the one who will go on to complete their best friend trio! While Yayoi is shy but courageous and Misaki is open and dominant, Sekiyama is extremely shy and reserved.

Misaki is making fun of their teacher to be, calling her an “obaasan” when she comes up on them from the back and introduces herself as “Instructor Mikami”. While she is strict and very punctual, she is also understanding and accommodating. In the beginning of the series, we will see Misaki growing irritated and angry at her, but as the story progresses, they grow to understand and respect each other.


And so begins the training for this class of twenty women to become cabin attendants! Her first lecture is an introduction to rules and regulations, which leads Misaki to say this:

The beginning material they are given to memorize by heart is like every students nightmare. It’s a few books but their size and depth makes everyone shudder! Being a cabin attendant isn’t so easy after all! 😉

Then comes the lesson on basic ettiquettes: bowing, eye contact and verbal communication. Somehow, as expected, our cheerful and energetic heroine Misaki ends up doing everything at the wrong time or in the wrong sense! Worst of all, she can’t even see how shes wrong! The journey seems a lot tougher ahead now.

After lessons, Misaki and Yayoi head down to the engineering site at the airport, where Shouta is working as an engineer. Shes still miffed at losing her ticket and hes still indifferent to her annoyance! J When he hears Misaki is also in training to become a cabin attendant, he looks her up and down and starts laughing. Before it can develop any further into a fight, Before it can develop any further into a fight, Yayoi drags Misaki off. Here Misaki finds out Yayois family owns a soba restaurant. Off to eating it is then!

Yayois father is least impressed with Misaki and wonders why her daughter couldnt have found a better person as a friend. Misaki seems oblivious to the fact and before their meal is over, she and Yayoi’s dad end up bonding with each other over the most unlikey topic- a picure of a perch that Yayois father has drawn up. On her way back home after eating four bowls of Soba (The way she eats makes me want to eat it too!! L ) she runs into Tsutsumi in a difficult and embarrasing scenario. He has jumped off a porch on the first floor of a building with his stuff thrown out after him by his current girlfriend because his former and not yet dumped girlfriend found out about his little rendezvous and is there to check up on whether its true or not. With Misaki’s help, he manages to get away. He gives her his number, promising to pay her back for her gesture.

The next morning Misaki reaches class just a few seconds ahead of Instructor Mikami, having reached barely just because she used the elevator. Mikami bids her to go back and down and come up again using the stairs. She is still reprimanded after that because she runs a few times in order to make it in time.

Mikami asks Misaki what she thinks of her attire and Misaki cooly replies

So Mikami lets her go. With time, she figures, Misaki will come to know the differnce and the basic and till then, she decidees to put up with Misaki’s ways. Next we are introduced to the captain of the plane who happens to be Mikamis friend; Tsutsumi (a trainee pilot) and cabin attendant A senpai and her sidekick. They are just returning after a long flight. Here our trio meets them officially for the first time.

Misaki thinks Tsutsumi looks familiar and starts to remember where she saw him. When it hits her, she turns to him with an exclamation and he recognizes her too. Panicking, he grabs her and leads her away. To keep her quiet, he buys the trio lunch and dessert. A friendship starts up between him and Misaki. All the while, he doesnt lose the chance to flirt around with other new trainees.

Meanwhile, lessons in the class continue and Misaki is as bad at them as ever.

Another instructor and the principal of the training department watch Misakis performance. While the principal has an optimistic outlook; the teacher criticizes Misaki and her carefree attitude.

Misaki ends up tired as dead on the couch at home when Chii chan pops by to announce she is going away for a while on a vacation. However much Misaki asks, Chii chan won’t give a straight answer and just leaves, promising to send her share of the monthly rent diligently.

At class, Misaki has pronunciation problems and ends up terming flight as fright, which leads to her saying,

Meanwhile, Shouta is shown looking longingly at the pilots seat in the cockpit. Seems his original dream was perhaps to become a pilot. Why he is now an engineer is a question yet unanswered.

The trainees are given a tour of the whole engineering lab, where Misaki is as nonchalant as before and the famous trio start mocking her again for her mistakes on the English sentence. They remark how they feel safer now that they know she is a no-goodie and will perhaps be truly dropped from the class in no time. Here Misaki is a little hurt by the others attitudes and ends up causing trouble again by mistake. The principal, however, decides not to punish her and simply asks her to be more careful in the future.

Mikami, however, is a little more miffed at Misaki’s attitude and asks her to think clearly about what she wants. Behind in class, everyone keeps gossiping about her mistake and how she is not bound to be fired from the trainee centre. Shouta is cleaning up and gathering equipment when Misaki comes looking for him. She apologizes for the trouble she has caused and while she complains about how hard and useless training is, he stops her and asks if she doesn’t feel embarrassed saying such stuff. That night, as she is heading home, she stops at a nearby bridge and watches the hustle bustle of the airport, her mind now preoccupied with scattered thoughts. Taking out his ring, she stares at it for a long time. Then she decides to visit him.


He warmly welcomes her into his apartment and she excitedly goes back to her normal, tomboyish self, chitchatting like the old days. When she tells him she is going to become a cabin attendant, he tells her he was merely joking with her when he said she might suit the uniform. Its then that he gets up to get her more drinks when there is the sound of the door opening and a girl coming in- Tsukasa’s girlfriend. Turning quiet, Misaki realizes all the tell tale signs of a serious relationship-two pillows on the bed, same couple cups for coffee, shoes in the doorway- and realizes she is the third wheel. Saying goodbye hastily, she leaves the house in a rush. On the walk home, she berates herself for being so vulnerable. Throwing the ring into the river, she silently cries alone. For many days ahead, she is absent from classes at the training centre, making Mikami worry. She lies lifelessly and carelessly alone at home, heartbroken from her unfulfilled first love. Finally, she heads out and wastes her days playing basketball and at game centers. Yayoi calls, but Misaki doesn’t pick up.

Captain comes to see Mikami and she admits she is worried about Misaki. Captain tells her not to think it is her fault again. It’s a hint at something that happened in the past for which Mikami cannot forgive herself. That night on the way home, Mikami spots Misaki in a park playing basketball. She approaches Misaki, who ignores her at first. Telling Mikami she never wanted to become a cabin attendant seriously after all, Misaki says cabin attendants are just “serving tea in the sky”. Mikami challenges her thinking and tells her this is simply failure on her part to understand the true spirit of a cabin attendant.

Misaki contemplates what Mikami said and thinks back to all the times she faced criticism from others and their comments about how her not being there was better. The next morning, Shouta comes across Misaki standing outside the airport in a contemplating pose. She asks him if he has something to say to her and tells him not to tell her that her actions are not cool again. She walks away and we pan into the classroom, where Mikami notices Misakis absence again. Suddenly the door opens and Misaki walks in. Misaki walks upto Mikami and tells her she will definitely become a cabin attendant and prove to Mikami and the others that she can do it because “Losing is something that I don’t like”. After a hearty speech about aiming to become the best cabin attendant, she turns around and walks to her seat and a look at Mikamis face shows tells us she is impressed by Misakis determination. While the trio looks unhappy at Misakis return, Yayoi and Sekiyama cheer her on with smiles. All seems to be going great until Mikami out to Misaki. Misaki turns back with an irritated expression saying “What now?”Mikami, with a serious expression, tells her “Your zipper is open!” Misaki’s ending expression is priceless!

Ha! Long journey, ne?! I hope you enjoyed the recap (It took me hours to just add the screencaps! :/, hehe)

Recaps

Drama-Movie Recaps

So, the newest thing on the horizon right now are Drama and Movie Recaps (K-dramas/Movies, C-dramas/Movies, J-dramas/Movies and T-dramas/Movies). At the moment I havent decided how to pursue this thing [Whether to recap dramas/movies I have already seen or the ones I see in the future] but I will be taking the first step with a Jdrama that I just started watching and posting its recaps as regularly as I get to see the episodes. 🙂

Look forward to the first episode of Attention Please in Recaps coming along soon! ^_^

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